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Andrea Mitchell Reports

News/Business. Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.

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Cairo 22, U.s. 19, Israel 18, Washington 10, Benghazi 10, United States 9, Romney 9, Libya 9, Us 9, New York 8, America 7, Egypt 6, Clinton 5, South Carolina 5, Obama 5, Richard Engel 4, Cymbalta 4, North Carolina 4, Allstate 3, Dennis 3,
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  MSNBC    Andrea Mitchell Reports    News/Business. Interviews with political  
   figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.  

    September 12, 2012
    1:00 - 2:00pm EDT  

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in some cases lay down their lives for it. >> the attacks set off by an anti-muslim video posted on youtube that mocks the prophet muhammad. >> let me be clear, there is no justification for this, none. violence like this is no way to honor religion or faith. >> the crisis sparking a political firestorm before president obama even spoke, mitt romney witness on the attack over the administration's response. >> they clearly sent mixed messages to the world and the statement that came from the administration and the embassy is the administration, the statement that came from the administration was -- was a statement which is akin to apology and i think was a severe miscalculation. >> on capitol hill, honoring the heros, the american flag lowered to half staff in memories of the
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lives lost. good day. it is a somber day in washington and america around the world. flanked by secretary of state hillary clinton, president obama condemned the attack in benghazi that led to the death of four americans including the death of ambassador chris steven. >> we will not waiver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act and make no mistake justice will be done. >> joining me chief foreign correspondent richard engel in cairo ro and nicolas burns former ambassador to nato and professor at the harvard kennedy school. first to you, richard, you've been out there all day. tell me about what's happening in cairo right now and your recap of what sparked the attacks both in cairo and benghazi? >> i think it's important to differentiate between the two because they're very different kinds of demonstrations and
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attack right now in cairo, there is still a demonstration going on, a couple hundred, maybe not even that many, hardline supporters, most of them were members of the islamic group, supporters of the old blind cleric, from the first world trade center attack. they have been organizing demonstrations in front of the u.s. embassy for a long time now and they were the core group that went out yesterday organized this demonstration and then the demonstration got out of hand, so to speak, and some of the people climbed into the embassy itself, didn't attack anyone, but pulled down an american flag and put up a black islamic flag. no u.s. personnel were at risk in that incident, but what it did show is a glaring lack of response from the new islamic
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leaning egyptian government. what happened in benghazi was a very different kind of attack. this was a commando raid according to accounts by the libyan -- by various libyan security officials including ones we've spoken to who describe commandos, militants, showing up, attacking with rpgs, with military-style formation, at least two phases of the attack. it's a different kind of thing. i'm not saying that they -- both were inspired we are told, by this internet video, but one was a popular feeling and agitation in which people climbed over a wall and pulled down a flag, the other was a -- looks more like an al qaeda-style raid on a consulate that ended up killing the ambassador and other personnel. >> we understand the president, as you know, has issued orders to increase security at
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embassies around the world. at seven particular embassies in the middle east and in the region at large, that security is increasing, let's say, even more than you would in other places around the world. what is the reaction in the arab street? because there's going to be a lot of very fierce reaction here at home. >> the reaction in the arab street is always surprising. there's the adage that in the middle east, no good deed goes unpunished. and i think a lot of people -- a lot of americans would be surprised to know what is emerging in the arab streets. the arab streets, which is a complicated thing in itself, for decades under the u.s. friendly dictators, were undereducated, they were fed a steady diet of anti-americanism, anti-israeli sentiment, anti-zionist sentiment, certainly, and when you give people freedom of expression you are also
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empowering the fringe groups. so already there have been small demonstrations in tunisia by the u.s. embassy, in gaza city there was some demonstrations, karzai in afghanistan took steps to limit youtube so the afghan people wouldn't see these videos and thereof go back out on the streets, whenever that happens in kabul people tend to die. so there is certainly an empowered radical element that the u.s. now -- that there's a new arab spring reality in this region is going to struggle to deal with i think for a very long time. >> richard engel, and nick burns here in washington, there is a very big political controversy over mitt romney's criticism. he issued a statement around 10:00 last night, and -- a written statement and then today, went on television before president obama did, around 10:15 this morning, reacting to a statement that was issued by
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the cairo embassy. the cairo embassy statement came out at 12:17 local time yesterday. it was by the statement of the embassy, a preemptive statement, be they hoped, to avoid protests that they anticipated because of this youtube video that was promulgated with anti-muslim information in it. the statement by the u.s. embassy in cairo that was so roundly criticized and was disgraceful according to mitt romney, was an apology according to mitt romney and put at the feet of the president of the united states by mitt romney says in part that the embassy in cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of muslims as we ken dumb efforts to offend believers of all religions. today the anniversary of september 11th americans are honoring our patriots those that serve our nation is the fitting democracy. respect is a cornerstone of
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american democracy and reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others. this was released by the embassy in cairo apparently without washington's approval six hours before the protests. not as an apology for the protests or explanation or response. you've been in embassies around the world, top levels of the state department in washington, first of all, do the press officers at embassies have the authority to release a statement like that if intelligence and other information indicates that they may be experiencing protests? >> they certainly do. we have one of the most experienced and outstanding diplomats in cairo as our ambassador ann paterson. it's her responsibility and the responsibility of our embassy, to make the statements they have to make and in this case, to protect and defend our embassy and the people in it. >> ann paterson was on home leave, we discovered. she -- if she's on home leave, probably would not have been confired. >> if she was on home leave she wouldn't have been the person
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authorizing that. the larger point is this is a tragic day for our country and our foreign service. four outstanding americans have been killed. and i was frankly very disappointed and dismayed to see governor romney inject politics into this very difficult situation, where our embassies are under attack, where there's been a big misunderstanding in the middle east apparently, about an american film, where we're trying to preserve the lives of our diplomats, this is no time for politics. i watched secretary clinton's statement this morning and i read president obama's statement and i've looked at the statement that you've just referred to issued 24 hours ago, by our embassy in cairo, in no way, shape, or form is the u.s. government or obama administration apologizing for terrorists or sympathizing with them. what i heard from the president and secretary clinton was a very definite rejection of terrorism and, of course, our government's going to call on the egyptian and libyan governments to apprehend these people and to put them on trial. so i just think that governor
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romney has in a very unwise way, injected himself into a situation where he clearly doesn't have all the facts. >> ambassador burns, where do we first meet? what was the first white house you worked? >> i worked for both republican and democratic administrations. >> i think i met you in the bush administration. >> george h.w. bush. >> george herbert walker bush, when i first met you you were a russian expert. >> yes. >> working with condoleezza rice and brent scowcroft. >> yes. >> hardly an obama partisan. i don't know whom you've endorsed we haven't talked about that, we usually talk about foreign policy. i don't know if you've endorsed anyone in this campaign. >> andrea, i was a foreign service officer myself for nearly 27 years, i served both republican and democratic administrations. and i think it's really important that we not play politics with this. we have american lives at stake overseas. our embassies they're outposts on front the line and dangerous places. we rely on the security provided
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by host governments and our own security. this is a time actually to support our government and not cast allegations that are frankly unsubstantiated. i see this administration as being very tough minded about terrorm in the last 24 hours and responding to these events. >> is there anything that you think the administration should have done differently? >> i'm not going to second guess the administration. i wasn't at those -- in benghazi or cairo yesterday and i have great sympathy for the american diplomats who were there that had to face these terrible attacks on them, violent attacks, with rpgs and mortars and grenades. i think we ought to give our support to those people. but i do think we've got to recognize and i think secretary clinton put it well this morning, she unequivocally said that there is never a justification for violence in terrorism, no explanation for it and we have to oppose it. but she also said we've also got to deplore the intentional efforts of those who would denigrate the religious beliefs of others. and we respect the constitutional rights of freedom
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of speech, of a person making a film, we don't have to agree with that person. and so tolerance for religion that is one-seventh of human kind, 1 billion muslims in the world, is an american principle. it was balanced, wise and said what an american official statement should say. >> i don't think you had the privilege of working with the ambassador who was killed, but just as a retired ambassador and long-time foreign service officer, what is the impact on the core, the diplomatic core of this loss? we haven't suffered this kind of a loss, every loss is horrible and tragic on a personal and professional level, but we have not lost a u.s. ambassador who was a symbol of the u.s. government since 1979 in afghanistan. >> it's -- since we lost ambassador adolph dubs in 1979. we've had black days in the past. i remember the beirut bombings
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in 1983. you do too. we lost four great individuals who were serving their country and i think, you know, sometimes it's difficult for people to understand what diplomats do, but what they do is they go to the most difficult places, they're unarmed, of course they have security, but they're not carrying arms, they're doing the work of our country, and they deserve our respect and thanks today. i think that's where we should be placing this debate. the debate i see over the last hour, which is politics and the presidential campaign, is so disappointing, but i can tell you one thing, the men and women of the foreign service will rally around each other, and they'll continue to serve this country with great distinction. >> thank you so much, ambassador burns. joining me congressman mike rogers republican chairman of the house intelligence committee, fbi man. thank you, congressman, for joining us today. your thoughts on the level of debate and the fact that frankly the republican candidate for president, took a stance and said that there was an apology from the -- from the administration and put it at the
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feet of the president, called it disgraceful when, in fact, that statement from the cairo embassy, whether it was worded well or not, came out six hours before these protests even started. >> well, i do think there's room for discussion in -- after we get through these troubling few days about maybe policies overall and those kinds of discussions and that's probably a fair debate to have in this upcoming election. what we should be focused on now, i think, is the fact that we lost a united states ambassador and what's key about this, we asked these folks to serve in very dangerous places. they are civilians there to represent the united states and just fundamentally try to avoid conflict. so the fact that these folks were deliberately targeted, they knew that the ambassador wouldn't be armed, is -- tells us we have some troubles we're going to have to deal with. especially in libya. this was a well-armed, well-coordinated event. it had both indirect and direct fire, and it had military
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maneuvers that were all part of this very organized attack. that's concerning. and that means we are going to have to make sure, working with the libyans hopefully, that these folks are brought to justice very swiftly. we cannot allow this to stand for the united states. egypt -- and i caution some in egypt, even the ambassador talked about this film being the impetus for this. i'm not convinced yet. we saw with the cartoons in the past that months went by and then there were information operations put together around those cartoons to incite violence. we have a lot more questions about what exactly happened in egypt if, in fact, that there wasn't some information operation to incite violence against the united states embassy. and i think we -- before we draw any conclusions about what the spark or the trigger of that event, i think we need to know those answers so we can appropriately ask the egyptians
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what happened and why they didn't secure the perimeter of our embassy in egypt and we're going to have some repairing to do in this relationship as we move forward. the egyptians need to take a very strong stance on this. i hope that they will. i know that we're working with them to that end. this all has to happen fairly quickly to regain americans' confidence in the new egyptian government. >> you're talking about, of course, the breach of the cairo embassy and the second incident, obviously, in benghazi and libya. let me play what mitt romney had to say this morning about the cairo incident. >> i also believe the administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those who had breached our embassy in egypt. instead of condemning their actions. >> i'm not clear at all, i don't understand what mitt romney is talking about, because it was a cairo embassy press statement six hours before the breach of the embassy. so where is this sympathy
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statement? >> yeah. i'm not exactly sure what governor romney was specifically talking about. i think probably what you saw there was the frustration over a foreign policy that probably is a little out of kilter where i think the governor would be when it comes to the middle east. i think that's probably what you're seeing there. >> well let me take you to israel then, because there was also a fuss over whether or not the administration should have invited prime minister netanyahu when he comes to new york in two weeks for the u.n., and israel saying that they had requested a meeting, the white house saying that there was no meeting requested or denied, the president called netanyahu, you were actually present in israel and know firsthand just how tense this relationship is. >> yeah. and it's concerning. we have -- it's clear that our -- on our intelligence and military cooperation is exceptionally good, that continues to be the case.
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but there is i think just a misfiring here between the very senior political levels in israel and the united states that is starting to show. you know, you can't hold that in for very long when the consequence of this relationship may mean and how it's handled, a war in the middle east that israel believes that they have to take some action against a nuclear iran that, by the way, would spark a middle east arms race, a nuclear arms race, and the consequences -- >> you're the intelligence chair. do you agree that the time has run out on sanctions and that israel has to take military action? >> here's -- well, you -- here's where i think we stand today. i think israel believes they're -- with their capabilities they may, in fact, have already crossed their line and they're looking to the united states for a little guidance. i do believe that's all happening. and that's where all this confusion and tension and anxiety between the two relationships, which is not healthy by the way, my argument is, it's not just if the
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israelis believe that there's a real military option on the table, but what do the irans believe? i believe today as a member of the chairman of the intelligence committee, iranians don't believe that the united states is serious. the administration has spent a lot of effort trying to convince israel not to do it, and what i was hoping is a better exale toward the iranians that listen, if you continue to push this nuclear -- to try to get a nuclear weapon, there are real consequences. i think the sanctions, which i supported and congress supported, candidly, are having some impact but they're not having an impact on slowing down the program. that's when the real threat of military option has to be on the table. not that we want to use it, but i believe in peace through strength and i think the iranians understand that strength part. so i think we've just got to -- it's not a lost opportunity. i think we can still get all of these players back on the table, so that we can have a very real deterrent to a nuclear iran and
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still have peace and good relationship with one of our strongest allies in the region, israel. >> chairman mike rogers, thanks so much for being with us today. >> thank you. and up next, the politics. reaction from the romney campaign with former ambassador and romney senior adviser richard williamson and still ahead, new york mayor mike bloomberg joins us. but first the scene moments ago at the white house. as the flag is lowered to honor our diplomats killed in libya. you're watching "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. had alwa. until i got a job in the big apple. becoming a fulltime indoor cat wasn't easy for atti. but he had purina cat chow indoor. he absolutely loved it. and i knew he was getting everything he needed to stay healthy indoors. and after a couple of weeks, i knew we were finally home! [ female announcer ] purina cat chow indoor. and for a delicious way to help maintain a healthy weight, try new purina cat chow healthy weight.
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these men are as brave and as courageous as any of our warriors that we've sent. tragically reminds us again of the incredible price that not
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only are our warriors pay in the service of this great country but the price paid by foreign service officers and aid personnel. >> the vice president joining -- just a few moments ago. joining me new york congressman steve israel chairman of the democratic congressional campaign committee. thanks very much. obviously your reaction to the political reaction of the president for his response in cairo in particular, it wasn't his response but the cairo embassy response, which mitt romney is laying at the president's feet? >> i think what mitt romney said was absolutely appalling. if anybody has any doubts about this man's willingness to say anything or do anything to achieve the presidency, even irresponsible things, this proves it. look, our personnel and the embassy in egypt, were trying to diffuse a crisis. they were threatened by an attack. they put out a statement that
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was intended to protect themselves and stop that attack. and for mitt romney to now inject partisanship in this and partisanship in this to win the thesy is irresponsible and i don't feel like taking lectures on foreign policy and national security from a guy that excluded any mention of our troops in his convention speech and whose idea of foreign policy is whether you stash your assets in switzerland or the cman islands. >> congressman, we have another dispute going on with israel and i don't mean your immediate family, i mean prime minister benjamin netanyahu, should the administration be taking lectures from netanyahu and is he to paraphrase what "the new york times" said injecting himself in the american campaign putting his thumb on the scale. >> if you're the state of israel and you live in the neighborhood of iran and you know that regime has denied the holocaust, threatened you with nuclear capability, that regime parades missiles with death to the
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zionists over those missiles in military parades living in that neighborhood makes you skittish, concerned about your existence. i understand the sense of urgency the israelis have and i know the united states has always been a close strategic partner with israel, will continue to be a close strategic partner with israel. iran is not just a threat to israel. iran is a threat to the world. and the world needs to take that threat seriously. >> congressman steve israel, and i know that you're boosted by recent polling showing that the reaction to congressional democrats is up six points in at least one poll, and we'll talk about that next. i know we've suspended a lot of the politics today, trying as we respond to this emergency, thank you for joining us today. >> thank you. and up next, reaction from the romney camp. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. joshua davis knows the frustration of looking for
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last night and you should have waited until more details were available. do you regret having that statement come out so early before we learned about all of the things that were happening? >> i don't think we ever hesitate when we see something which is a violation of our principles. >> mitt romney in florida standing by his original statement, the printed statement last night, regarding the events in libya and egypt as reporters were asking questions about the timing of his comments. joining me former ambassador to the united nations for special political affairs, currently a senior foreign adviser to the romney campaign. thank you for joining us. what about the questions that have been raised about the romney campaign jumping on this with a statement while we didn't even know the identities of who had died, and without knowing the timeline of what had happened? >> you know, as a lawyer, i'm familiar with the old saw that when you don't have the facts you argue process.
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and that's what's going on here with the white house trying to have a discussion of timing of a statement. the fact is, the substance of what the governor said last night was true. he continues to stand by it. we shouldn't be on an apology tour. but rather be aggressive in condemning this breach of sovereign american soil. we should be defending our principles, our free speech in pluralism and first and foremost, this morning when we learned that a life was lost and other lives were lost, we have to be conscious of our condolences and sympathy and appreciate for -- appreciation for their service but the substance of what the governor said last night was true then and true now and the american people have a choice to make and it's between an administration that apologizes for our values and principles and someone who stands up for it. >> ambassador. >> someone who lead from behind that contributed to the turmoil and someone who wants to leave for the front. >> forgive me for interrupting
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how is it an apology for our values to issue a statement before a protest happens. you're suggesting and governor romney suggesting that the -- that the statement from cairo was apologizing for something that had not happened for another six hours. that's why process matters. facts matter. >> i believe if you reporters on the ground check, it was reissued after the u.s. compound in cairo was breached. >> it was on a website and may not have been taken down, i don't know that to be the facts. >> it's my understanding it was reissued, it was not taken down, and, in fact, the white house didn't respond and back away interest it and say they did not approve of the statement until many hours later after president obama had seen the statement from governor romney. >> do you think it was appropriate for governor romney to issue a statement last night when the state department, the cia, the white house, were all scrambling to try to find out who were these americans, one
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american we now know the ambassador, had been carried by libyans to the hospital, the identities were still trying to be ascertained, they were trying to notify next of kin, and then again today, for mitt romney to come out in the 10:00 half hour before the president of the united states, made a scheduled statement at 10:35, does it seem to be injecting politics into a national tragedy? >> andrea, you're an experienced reporter. you've had the same questions asked about your own reporting from time to time. you have seen american political personalities making statements in difficult times. the american people are being asked to make a decision between the failed policies of president obama and the proposals of governor romney. governor romney has said that you shouldn't hesitate to stand up for our values. that's what he did last night. you're engaging in a process
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question. the importance is the substance of what's going on in the middle east where the u.s. is being compromised and where there's turmoil because we failed to lead, whether it's in the broader middle east in syria, in iran. those are the questions the american people want not the white house desire to have a discussion about process and timing. >> well, i was just interviewing ambassador nic burns, who as you know, first served under george herbert walker bush and served as a foreign service officer -- >> first served governor jimmy carter he served as a foreign service officer under jimmy carter. >> and condoleezza rice and am pointed an ambassador by george -- >> he could have a different view. so what? >> as you said, facts matter. thank you very much, ambassador williamson from the romney campaign. >> up next, new york mayor mike bloomberg on the anniversary of the crash and the attacks in libya. as part of a heart healthy diet. that's true.
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the violence against u.s. embassies in the middle east and africa is raising questions about the u.s. mission in the region and safety of our diplomats and military personnel. joining me former director of the national counterterrorism center and a nbc news terrorism expert. al qaeda groups are taking responsibility for some of the actions that took place. how organized was this? we have the situation in cairo and as richard engel is reporting situation in benghazi could be separately motivated. one could be more organized. >> we shouldn't complate the two even though the timing is similar, and i would also say that first reports on these things are almost always wrong. there is a significant team trying to figure out what happened now, ultimately the fbi will do an investigation of this, but i think it is fair to say, although the movie that was released might have had something to do with this, it is also possible that this was a more organized and planned al qaeda attack against the ambassador and his staff. >> typically, what kind of
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security does a u.s. ambassador have and do consulates and embassies have? >> quite significant. ambassador with travel with diplomatic be security personnel. >> these are the bodyguards, state department's equivalent of the secret service. >> the same people that protect secretary clinton travel in armed vehicles where there's any threat, certainly in benghazi, but ultimately these are still very, very dangerous places to serve. and this is not like a large u.s. military convoy. the point is to be open and engaged as this ambassador did so well and they obviously run this risk and this is an unbelievable tragedy. >> after the embassy bombings in kenya and in tanzania, embassies were redesigned and most of them were set back from major thorough fares, put behind big walls, we know how ugly and under guard the baghdad embassy is, the biggest of them all. this complex in benghazi, are you familiar with it? >> i'm not, but consulates not
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in the capital but other cities and countries are often less protected and that appears to be the case here. and really, although you have to have that set back for attacks it's obviously important for the security of u.s. personnel, i think what this ambassador was trying to do in places like benghazi and both before the uprising and after, was engage the people. >> he was active in social media. he was -- we have video of him interacting with people and this goes back to his peace corps roots in morocco in 1983. >> it's why it's ever more tragic. this is one of the americans who had the biggest hand in helping unseat gadhafi and support the rebels and now to meet this fate, i very much hope that it doesn't disrupt what needs to be a very close partnership between the government of libya, the libyan people and the united states. >> my colleague, michael leiter, thank you very much. >> my pleasure. >> we'll be right back. nah. he's probably got... [ voice of dennis ] allstate.
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anniversary, september 15th, 2008, the day of the market collapse that brought the global economy almost to its knees. mayor michael bloomberg in washington today telling the economic club here that the federal government has not done enough to repair the damage and that real work is being done by cities like his. and by mayors like you. welcome, mr. mayor. >> thank you for having me. >> well, thank you for being here. we're going to talk about the economy and your very interesting speech. i wanted to ask you to react to these events. four american diplomats, at least two diplomats, we don't know the identities yet, whether security personnel or not, are dead in benghazi and the embassy in cairo was breached, the walls there breached as well, two embassies under attack, and mitt romney immediately attacking the president of the united states. this has become a political firestorm. what say you? >> i didn't hear what romney had to say. i did see on television the president and i thought he said it exactly right.
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our prayers go out to the families. the americans have given their lives in the service of their country. america has an obviousligation e world to try to keep peace and try to advance our own individual interests, and we'll let the diplomatic process go on. it's not something that should be politicized. >> and also, another flap between prime minister netanyahu and president obama, the president called that's ya hu trying to smooth it over. each country issued statements in complete conflict. the israelis said they had requested a meeting and did not get a meeting with president obama when they are both in new york. they won't be in new york at the same time. the president is coming for the 25th, his speech to the u.n., prime minister two days later. then the white house said no, no meeting was ever requested. what is going on here? >> the world of diplomacy is difficult and both sides want to tell their own things.
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the most important thing here is netanyahu is right in the sense if sanctions don't have any what he called red line, i would call it a drop dead date or something they just go on forever and not effective. now secretary of state clinton is over there and i respect her judgment. she's phenomenally competent and she thinks that they will work. but from netanyahu's point of view it's easy to say israel will say a country about to say they're going to bomb us and we can't sit around and wait. the president understands that, but it's very different if it's somebody else being threatened than you. imagine what america would do if some country threatened to bomb us with nuclear weapons. i don't think we'd sit around. >> now, you're not sitting around in terms of rebuilding new york city after the economic collapse. and what happened -- >> think about it, we've had -- this is -- yesterday was 11
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years since the tragedy of 9/11, when everybody said our economy in new york city and in the country would collapse and then i think friday is the four-year anniversary of the collapse of lehman brothers and that weekend it really was a question whether the national and international financial system could survive and those that think that we should have just let it happen, capitalism, couldn't be more wrong. in my speech today i said, in fact, president george w. bush beserves a lot of -- deserves a lot of credit because hank paulson went to him on how to save the economy and said to the president this is going to be politically difficult and supposedly president bush said, hank, you do what's right. i'll worry about the politics. that's the kind of government we're not getting today. i think washington both sides of the aisle, both ends of pennsylvania avenue, everything is politics. understandable in an election year, but it's been that way for too long. we can't survive in just taking
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time out for an election year because we're always two years away from an election given congress is up every two years and a third of the senate is. >> what worries you most? the fiscal cliff, lack of clarity on the regulatory side as the mayor -- >> short term we've gone over the cliff, do you pull the rip cord or keep going? business is not making investments, not hiring people even though they have plenty of money on the balance sheets. >> why aren't they? >> because of uncertainty. they don't know -- they look for washington and don't see adults making decisions, don't know what regulation is going to be are, court decisions are going to be, tax policy is going to be, immigration policy, and tariff policy is going to be. in an environment like that you can't make long-term commitments. so we've got to do something about balancing the budget and beginning specificity. what i tried to talk about today, however, was not that. those are short-term problems. we have a long-term problem. it was masked by the housing
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bubble that created a lot of jobs, masking the fact that the fundamentals in america are changing in terms of who can get employment and what skills are needed an then when the housing bubble collapsed it was obvious a lot of people had borrowed against their houses so they couldn't survive either and that's what's been created if you will by the housing bubble. the world is changing. we have to open our borders to immigrants. we cannot let companies and industries and universities overseas start growing faster than we are and that's, in fact, what's happening. we have to solve the infrastructure problem. congress looks at infrastructure as a jobs program but it doesn't create jobs. i don't know very many office workers who are unemployed who could go to work on a construction site. get serious. different skill sets and physical requirements and that sort of thing. we need infrastructure for the future. we don't -- we have the worst air traffic system, most congested in the world. 15 best sea ports in the best, zero in the united states, six
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in china. we have none of the 15,000 miles of high-speed rail that are in america. we are just not making the investments in technology and the power grid and those kinds of things. we're not training our people, our education system, no matter how much progress we've made, and in new york we've made a lot of progress, we keep falling behind. in new york city, or the country, from the bottom of the recession to today, has replaced 40% of the jobs that we lost. new york city's replaced 200%. and the difference is we're much more of an immigrant city and we've tried to focus on helping small businesses grow. that's where all the growth is going to be. and it's a great example, technology and small business take a look at north carolina and south carolina, there's no reason those states should be different, same part of the country, two great states, lots of nice people, a warmth in both of those states and yet south carolina focused on maintaining
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the textile and manufacturing industry, north carolina focused on building their higher education system and technology. and i think north carolina has half a dozen or more head -- corporate headquarters there and south carolina has one. the unemployment rate in north carolina is a lot lower than in south carolina. south carolina. we know what to do but washington isn't doing it. cities are doing it. and washington's just getting in the way. >> and that is the message. thank you so much. we'll see you in mork for education nation. >> looking forward to it. >> the gridlock will be horrible. >> it's new york. we're not going to have gridlock. i promise you can get around. take mass transit. >> thank you. i shall. mike bloomberg, the mayor. next, the ambassador talking about the middle east. tank tank woman 1: this isn't just another election. we're voting for...
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martin indik. former ambassador to israel. thanks so much. well, ambassador, your reaction to the sequence of events and how this has unfolded with the administration and the romney attack? >> well, i think -- i think that it's a terrible tragedy and a very sad time for anybody when's involved with the foreign service. i had the opportunity to know and work with chris stevens back in the clinton administration when he was my iran desk officer in the state department, and he's just a really highly professional, courageous, joyous, idealistic and determined, professional foreign service officer. it's a really sad day for him and my heart goes out to his family, too. >> martin, tell me more about him because you're the first person to interview today who actually knew him, worked with him. tell me about what motivated him and what he was like,
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personally. >> he just was what unique kind of field officer in the foreign service. there are others like him that your audience will be aware of. ryan crocker, ambassador in baghdad and then in kabul. robert ford, our ambassador in syria until it was impossible for him to stay there. what marks these diplomats out, singles them out is their courage, their desire to be on the front lines rather than back in washington working the bureaucracy. and their idealistic commitment to represent the president and the united states of america and be the symbols of everything that we hold dear here. and chris was like that. chris when i knew him, we were engaged in an effort to normalize relations wh iran
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and he came to see me, wanted to learn farsi to be the first diplomat on the ground there. he was the first diplomat on the ground in libya when we reopened the embassy under the bush administration. >> we are going to have to leave it there. we'll talk offline and hopefully come back tomorrow. thank you very much, martin indyk. we're out of time. craig melvin has a look with us next. >> hi, andrea. we pick things up where you're leaving them off. the breaking news in libya and the killing of four american diplomats and the u.s. ambassador. right now, hundreds of marines on the way to libya. joining me live, former state department officer and plus we'll also get the latest on the ground of nbc chief foreign correspondent richard engel. awa. i was spotting, but i had already gone through menopause.
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